Mobile Search: Why is the location of the user valuable for advertisers?

Location in general is valuable for advertisers because it allows them to add to their marketing efforts information that extends the traditional targeting from an approach based on who the target market is (age, sex, income, etc), to an approach linked to the physical coordinates of the business.

Location is valuable because it complements the WHO with the WHERE with regards to the target.

The real surge in targeting based on user’s location (geo-targeting) has been possible thanks to the evolution in mobile telecommunications technology and the high penetration of smartphones (mainly through GPS enabled systems that allow advertisers to pin point accurately the user’s location).

What unique specifications do mobile devices offer that make them extremely attractive for advertisers?

Mobile devices are the most intimate personal devices ever built (as well as a powerful computers).

  • They are always carried by users, and always on
  • They can collect target data and campaigns can be measured and tracked in an effective manner (increased ROI)
  • Mobile devices, through the use of social media companies that operate Location Based Services can fully utilise the social aspect of media consumption

Consumers rely heavily on their mobile devices to browse for information and search for things close by that they want or need (a restaurant, a gas station or a 24hour hair saloon). So this has become a great opportunity for advertisers who can use Search Engine Marketing to engage the mobile consumers while they search and browse content on their mobile devices (Google refers to this as “Small screen. Big opportunity”).

Advertising planned with regards to location has always been important to local businesses or local branches of global businesses. In the same manner as radio proved in the past to be a great media channel for local retailers, location-based advertising in mobile devices is also very important for local and global advertisers as it can reach the consumer near the point of sale.

So what is Mobile Search marketing?

Forrester defines mobile search marketing as the process of using mobile search engine results to increase the visibility of a company, its brands, or its products. This is done through SEO, paid search advertisements, or contextual listings. In Paid search the ads appear beside related mobile search results or across mobile content.

According to eMarketer, mobile search advertising is projected to grow almost 60 percent to $295 million by the end of 2011
In one year, the growth in mobile search ad spending as a percentage of total search ad spending has increased dramatically

And how is Mobile Search Marketing different from online (or desktop) search?

Although the overall philosophy remains the same, traditional web search is created around the popularity and relevance of a web page, rather than the popularity and relevance of a place.

There are certain things that we need to bear in mind when we adapt online search to mobile search. These things relate to the specific nature of  a) the mobile device and b) the underlying behaviour of the mobile consumer.

a)    Search Marketing with regard to the mobile device

Smaller screens means less space to show organic results and paid ads and so

Mobile Searches return fewer results and less text-per-link in the results page.

Smaller keyboards also generate shorter search queries than with traditional PC-based searches and will need to be customised for “large finger syndrome” by improving navigation on smartphones through search engines.

b) Search marketing underlying behaviour of the mobile consumer

Mobile consumers generally access the web when they need a quick answer and mostly related to things in the vicinity (As Eric Schmidt mentioned in the 2010 IFA show in Berlin:“1 in 3 queries from smartphones is about where I am). They are driven more by specific goals normally with a short-term time constraint (i.e. nearest hotel).

This means that Search for mobile needs to adapt from its online/PC origins in the following ways:

Ads should be location-specific and place extra importance on actionable keywords that are time sensitive and linked to the brand/business.

So what can advertisers use location in Mobile Search for?

 Boost Brand awareness and consideration (branding in mobile advertising outperforms online advertising branding according to Insight Express, 2010)

  • Through increased visibility
  • Through word of mouth recommendations from current customers
  • Through partnerships with local businesses

Increase preference and customer acquisitions

  • Through use of targeted promotions, discounts that can enhance loyalty
  • For the same reason radio is a Check-ins at “places,” rather than just map coordinates, makes the data valuable for targeted advertising and context-aware advertising

Improve engagement in advertising near the point of sale

  • Smartphone rich advertising formats increases user experience in relation to local advertising

Improve customer conversions (such as increasing foot traffic to the business or selling more of one particular item).

But the benefits of location-based advertising don’t affect only the advertisers.

Consumers profit from more relevant and tailored messages and as well as useful information (such as a telephone number, opening times, reviews, etc) when they search for a product or service with local implications.

Consumers benefit from more relevant and quick responses to search queries. These benefits, tied to the personal attachment that consumers have with their mobiles show a more balanced and constant use during the day and week than with the desktop counterparts

That’s all for now.

Take care amigos,


(post finished to the tune of  “78 stone Wobble” by Gomez)

Read More

Research for Innovation

When we are presented with a business problem, we can either attack it from an already existing reality (an existing brand, technology, etc) Or, if it is ultimately a new type of problem, we will need to attack it with a fresh mind and try to solve it  from scratch.

These two distinctions will largely determine what research approach we use.

Innovation is an art (taken at the Saatchi Gallery)

If you are building or improving upon a certain existing business reality (currently established technology for instance), you need to understand how people value and perceive this technology, how they use it and what limits it currently has. This is when more traditional and analytical Research methodologies are very effective to understand the past and present and help shape future decisions.

But when it comes to questions that require projections into uncharted waters (like: We have this great technological advancement: How can we incorporate it into our business?) Then Research has to evolve to meet the predictive needs of the problem at hand.

This type of research becomes more of a hunt for patterns, and an amalgamation of different sources and inspirations from different markets, categories, countries. This is what is referred to as Design Research and in this process it becomes imperative that we balance raw analytics with informed intuition. Despite the “fluffy” connotations that the word intuition has when it comes to business solutions, it is in fact something much more sound. Intuition in this sense is not meant to be understood as unbound imagination or “gut sense”. Intuition should be informed, grounded, and the fruit of accumulated past experiences in other Research projects, other fields and other markets.

These are processes that are often iterative in nature as they start from assumptions and work their way through incremental changes and through the use of prototyping or even pretotyping (see my previous post on pretotyping).

It is no secret that differentiation is the Holy Grail in business breakthroughs (and in everything really: from securing a job versus other candidates to dating that girl in high school). But in a world where “Best practice” is yearned for, where products and communications are benchmarked against competitors and norms, it becomes quite a task to stand out. When everybody measures their success by contrasting their outputs with the market practice, Imitation is more probable than Innovation.

That is why to achieve differential innovation, the whole participatory team must strive to step out of their knowledge comfort zones, and accept a certain level of ambiguity. This is specially true as when comparing with other more traditional forms of research, the qualitative nature of the insights gathered through the Design Research projects do not offer the tranquility and safety of statistically representative numbers.

This ambiguity does not confront the validity of this type of Research. However it does mean that a special effort needs to be undertaken by the team members, to stress test all findings and be able to challenge and rethink any conclusions.

So, to attack a business problem that demands for an innovative solution that cannot rely heavily on the past or present, it is good to use informed insights, but it is great if we can complement these with some grounded intuition that will allow us to creatively iterate until we reach sustainable differentiation.

Would love to hear any personal experiences you’ve had on this.

As always, thanks for reading.

Take care amigos,


(Post finished to the tune of Space Cowboy by Steve Miller)


Read More

Being Geeky

Every few weeks I try to conquer The Economist’s Caption competition (in the Newsbook subsection). The mechanics are as follows: they show you a photo, give you a brief on what the article that corresponds to that photo will be about, and for a brief window of time accept suggestions for a caption (you can see my previous entries here). The winner will have the honor of being able to claim that he/she has been published by The Economist (not too shabby).

Last summer the caption was for the below photo (with the article describing how Comic Conventions are increasing in size and are a substantial source of revenues).

Caption Competition for Ani-Com

I’m a comic lover myself so this proved a double incentive for me (The Economist + Comic Caption!)

My humble suggestions were these:

  • Dress code: geek casual
  • Unconventional Convention
  • The Geekonomics of Fandom
  • In Ani-Com they don’t stand out
  • The Fandom Menace
  • Spice Girls meets Sailormoon
  • One small step for Manga, one giant geek-out for mankind
  • Forget Leia’s bikini
  • Geek Mythology
  • Kevin Smith’s fantasy

I did not win, but the whole exercise got me to thinking about people who love comics like myself and what this meant. During my doodling/brainstorming sessions, the word that I directly gravitated towards was Geek (and as you will see this gave form to some of my suggestions). And I got to thinking… What is the core value of a Geek?

To me, it is clear: Passion. People unconsciously associate the word “Geek” with  computers, comics, science… But to me you can be a Geek for just about anything, as long as you simply love it.

That is why when I saw the below Trailer for the new Morgan Spurlock documentary of Comicon I got really excited. Finally a film that will cherish the value that (comic) Geeks bring to the table (priceless Kevin Smith’s final comment “to himself”).

Don’t be mistaken. This documentary is not (in essence) about comics. Its about people who love something to its utmost extreme. It’s one example of being a geek. It’s a celebration of a specific passion in a colorful and unique manner. Can’t wait to see it.

So, for what it’s worth. Let’s fuel our passions, whatever they may be. Let’s be Geeks. Art geeks, Travel geeks, Romanian cuisine geeks, family geeks… your call.

Below I leave you a souvenir from my childhood. When being a Geek was something that was worn and exhibited loud and proud!

No bird,no plane, just me aged 5? (mom help me out)

Over and out.

Many thanks for reading and take care amigos,


Post finished to the tune of “Superman” by Five for Fighting

Read More

Company Radar: Brainjuicer

I am proud to say that I have a Market Research background. For a few years in London I worked as a Researcher for Millward Brown (working with great brands and even better people).

I find this research background of great value almost every day. When dissecting client data, attending focus groups, performing secondary research, gathering insights…

Research is extremely important no doubt and clients rely heavily on it to make difficult (or compromising) consumer decisions. In our creative agency we also rely on research (qualitative, ethnographic, but also quantitative thanks to BrandAsset Valuator) to find truths about our brands that will help shape strategy and fuel creativity.

But research´s image (I find) is devalued and unfairly perceived as outdated and un-sexy, which sometimes leads to a certain “ugly duckling complex” within Research agencies (when in fact their role is an important one if done correctly).

This limits not only their involvement with some of their clients but also their ability to capture and retain talent.

That is what stood out for me when I visited Brain Juicer´s web:  Immediately it doesn´t feel like a research company at all. It’s another animal entirely.

Their positioning away from the “traditional” research image and their establishment into a more creative, vibrant and technological research hub is a very interesting one (and is helping them secure the position as one of the fastest growing research agencies in the UK).

Recently I watched a presentation from the Brainjuicers at Invention Fest that blended neuroscience with marketing research and effectiveness.

Through a series of definitions of parts of the brain (which I will not delve into!) they arrived at the following conclusion: “We don’t think as much as we think we do”. In essence this means that emotions (and not rational processes) are the ones that mostly govern our decisions.

So what does this mean for Marketing?

Well, for one it means that raw emotional advertising (this they contrasted using IPA data) is much more effective.

In fact, when researching into more exact description of emotions (and according to Brainjuicer) “Awe-inspiring” is the adjective that best boosts effectiveness in advertising.

From here they turned to one of my favorite ads to further make their point about emotions being a powerful driver (beyond conventional pre-conceptions).

I remember watching this ad by agency Fallon and feeling uplifted (and I also remember the FT stating the uplift in sales which I have recovered for you below).

Financial Times December 11, 2007 (Gorilla Tactics)

You can imagine when this was pre-tested (IF this was pre-tested) that it most definitely flopped in every copy testing measure (especially as it was probably done in an un-finished and un- edited form).

That is why research is such an important tool. We need to master it so we can know when to follow it blindly or when to completely ignore it and go with our gut feelings.

In Jon Steel’s famous book “Truth, Lies and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning” he mentions that one of his clients had a sign that read “Guts is cheaper than Research”.

With companies like Brainjuicer redefining the traditional research landscape the virtue will be found in a healthy combo of Guts & Research.

Thanks for reading,

Take care amigos,



Read More

Channel Diversification: factors and why to diversify

Digital Channel Diversification…

In our Marketing plans we have a specific goal, but also a specific budget. So what things do we have to judge and weight out in terms of choosing whether we spend our $$$ on Social Media, or optimizing our web page, our setting up and monitoring a Pay Per Click campaign?

I would argue that there are four main areas where we can find differences amongst digital channels and we will have to focus our investment on some and not others depending on how these areas play their part.

1. Branding or Conversion

Independently of our objectives, some channels are good at some things more brand-related (like generating visibility and helping brand positioning) others are more effective in converting and direct sales.

In general we can say that Social Media and Display are good for branding efforts while SEM and SEO can achieve conversions like sales or leads as they are more tailored towards Direct Marketing.

2. Targeting

Another distinction can be made about the degree of targeting that these channels allow, as some are better designed to reach a specific audience and some are broader in their reach. In general Search based marketing is the most targeted but lately we can see this feature also used in most well-known Social Networks.

3. Speed

Obviously how quick you need your actions to take place will influence how you allocate your budget, and generally speaking, quicker effects will demand for higher spend. In this sense, SEO is definitely the channel that requires a more dedicated investment and SEM is known for its quick results.

4. Creativity

One more level of differences comes in the creative context. Whilst some of the four channels above offer rigid formats, other allow for a more creative approach (which for certain targets like the younger segment will be needed if we want to capture some precious seconds of their attention). Social Media and Display allow for highly creative and even interactive executions. SEM and SEO though, still require some creativity around the copy (for the ad in case of SEM) and for the quality content in the web page for SEO.

Blended is better

I think it is important to note that, even if your objective demands a higher spend in one of these channels due to one of the four reasons stated, that we still complement our plan of action with a reduced investment in some of the other channels. There are three main factors that play a part in the higher success of a blended approach.

A) The ROI of a blended campaign is higher than those taken from individual channels.

For instance, good SEO can help make SEM strategies more effective as one of the factors when calculating CPC will be the quality of the page. A powerful campaign in Social Media can aid our branding but if pointed to certain landing pages can increase the popularity of the page and help boost our organic positioning.

Furthermore, by blending our channels we can decrease our exposure to risk as diversifying the different allocations will reduce any items that we have not predicted (like a major change in the Google algorithm for instance or an increased bid pressure on SEM).

B) Decrease in efficiency with increase in invested volume of a single channel

Marginal efficiency decreases as you increase investment in a particular channel. Once we reach a particular threshold, every $ we spend on the channel will have a decreased efficiency (for example, in SEM, the investment in new keywords will at one point start decreasing in conversions. This is another reason for championing for a diversified choice of budget allocation.

C) Different channels can help reach different customer dispositions

Depending on the customer sentiment or mood, we will be choosing different channels. In Search, customers have a strong predisposition or intent towards purchase. They are actively looking for something (information, an address, a product…). In this context customers can be “called to action” easier. In social media channels, consumers do not want to be interrupted with direct marketing messages, but rather want to be entertained, want to connect with other people. Brands can use this scenario to build an emotional connection with consumers, and bounce off their friends to reach a wider segment. As such, the social media environment is great for notoriety, awareness and brand building.

That is all.

Take care amigos,


(post ended to the tune of  “I ain’t got you” by the Yardbirds )

Read More

The Fable of The Guardian and the Three Little Pigs

In this post I want to briefly address the way technology has changed the way news are created, consumed and shared and how a brand like the Guardian has decided to use this opportunity to destroy preconceptions and place itself at the forefront of this change.


To begin with, lets lay out the two main business challenges for newspapers in the technological age (they both start with “L” but none are Lady Gaga):

1)  Leakage 2) Leveraging of social channels.

1) Newspapers are migrating readers from one platform (paper) to another (bytes), and there is risk that in the process of “moving house”, readers might choose to change to another news provider altogether. This is especially true of quality newspapers, the likes of the Guardian, the FT, etc. which tend to have a high concentration of ABC1 target readers. These are readers who are likely to own and use several digital devices (tablets, smartphones and the likes).

2) Another challenge for Newspapers is to remind readers (and non-readers) that whilst they can now be informed through social channels exclusively, they will not find a better place to do so than the newspapers themselves. Here it is more a matter of brain over brawns as News providers will need to use social to their advantage, as a complement to traditional reporting, increasing reader utility. Mintel’s research for their February 2012 report shows that people who use Twitter at least once a day are more likely than average to be daily newspaper readers and significantly more likely than average to be readers of quality titles. This suggests that Twitter might be a good tool to lure these quality readers. Facebook is also useful in that it is visited more on a daily basis than Twitter.

These two challenges have been confronted in the new the Guardian campaign, by BBH. Through the below execution they have reinforced the quality of the Guardian offer (anti-leakage measures!) as well as reminding consumers that the Guardian embraces de social ecosystem to its full extent (pro social!).

The core communication strategic framework in this campaign is built around the Open Journalism concept. This is similar to citizen journalism, participatory, crowd-sourced, you name it. Blogger, Tumblr,Twitter, Facebook, Wikinews,, Gawker, Huffington Post… have all helped this new form of news breaking and distribution take shape.

What are the characteristics of Open Journalism?

Speed for sureas its reactive nature does not wait for reviews, corrections, printers… it is ready on the go, wherever, whenever. It is fluid. Another characteristic of Open Journalism, is that it leaves no angle uncovered. Open journalism is boundless by nature, as anyone can help fill in the gaps. Anyone can contribute to the development of a news piece, whether with objective facts or passionate opinions.

Detractors of this new form of news publishing argue that news loses quality and rigor. That not everyone is fit to contribute to a news story (a “camel is a horse made by committee” and this applies to news as well). I agree that an “anything goes” approach to Open Journalism can only lead to a weakened news ecosystem overall, but this is where the role of the newspapers in this new environment is a key one.

Their task is one of maintaining relevance irrespective of the platform they appear in. Newspapers have to be the torch-bearers in all of this open participation. Not just moderators, but activators, innovators in the News space. They must lead conversations, educate opinions and complete facts. They must provide a 360 view of the news.

Jerry Seinfeld once said: “It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper”. With technology this has changed. Now the space is unlimited, and the newspaper´s opportunity lies in not only providing the framework for the news to develop, but also provide the leadership and innovation for the news to breathe and grow beyond the newspaper. Quality newspapers like the Guardian need to provide breadth and depth of perspective (under their own point of view which should never be eroded).

This has been the road chosen by BBH in their above campaign. The concept is built around this premise of curated broad perspective (verbalized through the line “The Whole Picture”) where the Guardian is the container through which the whole news story is born, and through which the story grows through individuals direct participation.

The role of the Guardian brand is played out in a subtle but clear manner, and the execution shows the multiplatform possibilities (Webpage, twitter, iPad, laptop, etc.) , with the Guardian as the activator/facilitator.

It is a real product demo done in style, where the demo is secondary to the real protagonists: the people who consume news and enrich the news process through their participation. The spot shows empowerment first as a category insight, and functionality and quality second, in the Guardian multiplatform demonstration.

My sincere congratulations to the Guardian team (Alan Rusbridger its editor foremost), for evolving their product into what it is today. Examples like these seem like a step forwards and upwards and have no doubt ignited the creative process with powerful Reasons To Believe.

  • Recently launching a Facebook app that has rightfully gathered 4.200.000 monthly followers.
  • Developing interactive graphs (like this one on the Arab Spring) that is well documented and well executed which also seems like a confident step forwards and upwards.
  • Encouraging both public and experts to contribute alongside journalists
  • Open access to data

Congratulations also to the BBH people (DavidKolbusz in Creativity and Griffin Farley in Strategy amongst others from what I read), for accepting the challenge of portraying Open Journalism through the Guardian brand, and delivering highly on it. The spot is so complete in detail that I find it gets better with every viewing (and I´m secretly hoping for more versions: Little Red Riding Hood and Deforestation? Sleeping Beauty and Prescription Medicines? Hansel and Gretel and Adoption?)

And now for YOUR Collaboration/participation. What did you guys think of the Campaign? How do you think Newspapers should adapt to technology and consumer empowerment?

Thanks for reading and take care amigos,


(post finished to the tune of “Try” , by ALO)


Read More

Ads of the World January 2012 winners

Last posts have been very wordy and not at all visual. In this one you will find I´ve gone the opposite way….

Please find below the January winners from the Ads of the World Site. Great creativity from around the Globe. Enjoy!


GOLD – LG THIEF – Advertising Agency: Y&R, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


SILVER – Atria: Dinner – Advertising Agency: TBWA\ Helsinki, Finland


BRONZE – Lurpak: Lightest – Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, USA



GOLD – Queen Bee Salon & Spa: Guide to Private Hairstyles – Advertising Agency: Hanlon Worldwide Industries, Los Angeles, USA


SILVER – Stabilo Boss: Highlighted, Maria Antonieta – Advertising Agency: Prolam Y&R, Santiago, Chile


BRONZE – Fundacion Padre Hurtado: Drunk – Advertising Agency: Prolam Y&R, Santiago, Chile



GOLD – Heineken: U-code – Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Warsaw


SILVER – Coca-Cola: Big Santa – Advertising Agency: Ogilvy Action, Argentina


BRONZE – Daffy’s: Peep show on Times Square – Advertising Agency: Devito/Verdi, USA



GOLD – Amnesty International: Amnesty Rescue, Call Of Duty MOD – Advertising Agency: Strange Day, Netherlands


SILVER – Scandinavian Airlines: Couple Up to Buckle Up – Advertising Agency: CP+B, USA


BRONZE – Air China: Check in at asian restaurants casefilm – Advertising Agency: Rodolfo, Sweden

Thanks for reading. Take care amigos,


(post finished to the tune of  “Dissident” , by Pearl Jam)

Read More

Pretotyping: Fail more and quicker to reach success sooner

Sometimes you hear/read a new word and the word´s own personality stands out from the very beginning. It´s even better when the word is actually a useful one to learn. This is the case of Pretotyping.

This post is to introduce the concept and the utility of Pretotyping. I will merely be summarising from the original sources that are out there on Pretotyping which I highly recommend for anyone who wants to dig deeper: The Pretotyping Manifesto video from this past January 2012 at Stanford, the original Pretotyping web page, and the free online book

A bit of background on Pretotyping: The idea of Pretotyping, whilst largely common sense is not a new concept. It’s basically an unconventional but effective form of market research. But whilst the core nature of it is not groundbreaking, the structure and articulation of the ideas and practices that surround the Pretotyping are very poignant and feel very much new. The naming and postulation of Pretotyping has been created and championed by Alberto Savoia who was Google’s Engineering Director and an expert on Innovation.

A bit of background on Mr Savoia and the seed of the Pretotyping concept: Alberto Savoia is a serial entrepreneur, who has had his fair share of sucesses and failures. After a really promising start into entrepreneurship, his second big profile project, with big leagues VC funding, flopped. This marked a wake up call for Savoia, who while at Google, decided to focus on this very important question we should all ask ourselves every once in a while: WTF?

WTF? =why the failure?

Mr Savoia started by outlining a very simple principle.

Law of failure=most ideas fail (even if very well implemented)

If most ideas fail (just take a look at all the apps that are sitting unused in the Apple store…), and most ideas take a healthy amount of time and money to fully activate, it makes sense when Alberto urges us to, when developing a new product or service, “make sure you are building the right IT before you build IT right”. This is Mr Savoia’s mantra for developing anything succesfully (a book, a company, a product…)

The trick, as it´s quite likely that most of our ideas will fail at implementation, is not to outrun failure, but to use it to your advantage.

What is the Pretotyping premise? Well, this takes into account speed of failure. The quicker your idea fails (as most will fail) the quicker you can try more ideas until one eventually becomes a success. The worst ideas are those that we allow to fail very slowly, as they consume our time, our money and our motivations in the long run.

Definition of Pretotyping: Validating the market appeal and actual usage of a potential new product or service by simulating its core experience whilst minimizing time and money spent.

The main question you ask when pretotyping: does it make sense to build it? would people use it?

In essence, Pretotyping is closer to innovative market research techniques that to prototyping.

If you adopt Pretotyping, the amount of ideas you will test will increase substantially, with them your amount of quick failures will also increase (you will fail more and quicker), but in return for your speedy failure you will eventually also come up with more successes. The goal of Pretotyping is to minimize slow, painful failures and increase quick ones, to reach success sooner.

The Pretotyping Manifesto

  • Innovators beat ideas
  • Data beats opinions
  • Doing beats talking
  • Simple beats complex
  • Now beats later
  • Commitment beats committees
  • Pretotypes beats Productypes

So what is the main advantage of  Pretotyping? Cost-efficient and speedy failure so as to quickly and cheaply discern those products or services that people won´t try, so you can go ahead and continue trying to find those that will.

Types of Pretotypes:

Mechanical Turks: Any dummy development that has not really been fully fledged out would fall into this category. A recent example mentioned by Alberto Savoia would be an IBM speech-to-text product, that was originally intented to spare business executives who were not PC-savvy from typing. The validation was executed through a Mechanical Turk as in reality the software wasn’t developed at all. Executives who tested out the Pretotype were made to believe it was a finished product when in reality there was a professional typist that did the typing into the Pretotype computer from another room.

One of the earliest examples of Pretotyping!

Pinocchio pretotype: Here you create a dummy product and assess it´s worthiness by filling in the blacks with your imagination (wooden block with painted buttons carried around with you would serve to see if you would use a palm device throughout the day)

Palm product and its Pinocchio Pretotype

Fake door: This measures interest in a service or product. You basically put an ad that explains the product and see  if people clicked on it. Very low investment (Adwords) and in return you get real consumer interest data!

Impersonator pretotypes: you take another product and wrap your product label around (to see if people would buy it, try it, etc)

Huge and very successful companies pretotyped in their origins. Facebook tried out pretotyping. They started with a small group of university students to see if the idea really worked. And the rest is history.

Pretotyping has also been vastly used in advertising. When developing an ad idea, you don’t produce and shoot straightaway. You recreate a mock up version of the advert to see if it is differentiating and relevant enough to really produce.

Any examples out there that you can think of that involve Pretotyping?

Take care amigos,


(post finished to the tune of Summerlines , by Au Revoir Simone)




Read More